Doom is iconic. Doom is incredible. Doom is the embodiment of the entire FPS game genre, a landmark of the PC platform, and the ancestor of everything from Half-Life to Halo to Call of Duty. But now, almost 30 years since its original release, it’s time for a transformative visual overhaul. Created by id Software, both Doom and Doom 2 are beloved and instantly recognizable for their 2D monster sprites. The imp, the Pinky, the Spider Mastermind – we know these monsters like we know our own faces. But what if they were 3D? What if we could see and marvel at every angle of Doom like ever before? With boomer shooters still surging in popularity, it’s time for the grandparent of them all to make a glamorous return.
Enter ‘Voxel Doom 2,’ a new Doom mod that “replaces all monsters, weapons, props and items with fully 3D voxel models.” Created by Nash Muhandes and Daniel ‘Cheello’ Peterson, Voxel Doom 2 has finally been released, joining its cousin, the original Voxel Doom, as one of the definitive mods for the classic shooter.
If you think of the Doom monster sprites, each time you view them from a different angle, you’re met by a different 2D image. View a monster from the front, you get a 2D image of their front. Move to the side, and this gets instantly replaced by another 2D image showing them from the front left or front right. Voxel Doom transforms the monsters, and other assets in Doom, into fully 3D models, so you can circle strafe around them while taking in every one of their fleshy, hellish contours.
The effect is dazzling. Peterson and Muhandes’ character models are detailed and chunky, remaining entirely faithful to the original designs while still developing and improving on them. For veteran Doom players, it can feel pretty weird – you’re viewing monsters, and likely hammering them with super shotgun shells, from angles hitherto unseen. There are also new explosion and gibbing effects, and some special death animations, too.
It’s like the gaps in Doom’s style that your imagination used to fill have been brought to actual, vivid life. But just like ZDoom, which added full mouselook, you quickly acclimatize and start to feel like you’ll never go back to the original style again. Try out Voxel Doom 2 for yourself right here.
Alternatively, if you’re a seasoned Doom fan and want some more classics, try the best old games that still run on PC. You can also take a look at the best horror games, if you long for the darkened corridors of the Phobos base.